Listening to the world service recently I've been blown away by some of the creative audio they've prepared for the Beijing Olympics. It's awesome because for those that know me, I've become a little sceptical about the whole 'safety first' Olympics and even delayed my return to Beijing because the preparations for the Olympics are too intensive; foreigners with non Z class visas have been sent home, migrant workers have been cleared off the streets to project an image of modernity, factories closed and cars banned from the roads on alternate days depending on the number plate to project an image of cleanliness, bloggers and activists rounded up and thrown in jail to project an image of harmony and even tourist visas refused as well as a whole host of stuff that strips the spontaneity and fun from the event such as the official Olympic Cheer that I blogged about over here.
Happily the British Isles are blessed with people who have a creative response to the celebrations and just seeing this today over at Neil's blog has cheered me up no end. I'm sure it's going to be a good Olympics once we get into the swing of things and it's content like this this by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett that is going to help far more than any condescending cultural fingerpointing. I first realised that when I saw how wildly popular Kung Foo Panda is in China and how even the intellectual elite are questioning why it could never be made in China under the current conditions. Great Creativity always opens up great questions and the answer to that one is not safety first. It's fun first. Risk a little and gain a lot I say.